Every year, the Sydney Royal Easter Show is a big deal. It’s held at a huge (former Olympic) venue for a couple of weeks and bzillions of people and animals go along to experience country life – woodchopping, giant displays of fruit and vegetables, farm animals and Chiko Rolls. (If you’re not familiar with this bizarre Australian deep fried mystery, you can read more here.) There are hundreds of showbags for little kids and big kids, live music, carnival rides and all the fun of the fair.
But I’ve found a competition that I think should have top billing – I’m amazed that I never knew about it before today. I blame the marketers – too focussed on the rare breeds of alpacas and cows and dogs, instead of our smaller furry friends. The rats and mice. Yes, there is a whole competition for rodents.
Apparently, the Rat & Mouse Competition is a pet class that promotes public understanding of rats and mice within Agriculture and how we accept them in our community. Who knew that rats and mice were so misunderstood and felt so isolated in the farming community? Poor dears. For too long, they have been disregarded as pests, but really all they want is to fit in. I have images of the barn, with the ‘cool crowd’ of cows, sheep, pigs, horses and chickens chatting in the corner – then the rat and mouse come in, “Hey! Hey, guys! Over here! Yoo hoo! Guys! GUYS?” but no one will make beady eye contact.
Anyways, this competition is run by an organisation with the funniest name I’ve seen in a long time: The Australian Rodent Fanciers’ Society. Hmmmm. Bet you don’t see that listed under ‘memberships’ on many LinkedIn or online dating profiles. Sure, the name is pretty good, but it’s actually their website image that has become one of my all-time favourites. Rodents praying to a giant billboard? Sure, why not, Rodent Fanciers – it’s your Show!